It’ll Be Subarus, Not Servers for One South Loop Block

Yesterday we were gishing to bring you the news of three new hotels opening up within a single building in the South Loop.  Today, it is with melancholy and infinite sadness we report that another building on the same block will not be built.

The development pumpkin was smashed in a letter to the City of Chicago from lawyers for McHugh Construction.  McHugh is the muscle behind the siamese dream of a hotel at 123 East Cermak Road, across the street from McCormick Place.  In addition to the hotel mash-up, it was going to put up a big data center next door at 2222 South Indiana Avenue.  Now, that’s not going to happen.

2222 South Indiana Avenue

Wheeee! Parking! (via Apple Maps)

According to papers filed with the city, McHugh simply couldn’t find anyone who adored the idea of housing their machina there.

McHugh had hoped to start work on the data center back in 2014.  Instead it’s going to put in a… surface parking lot.  It’s pearl clutching time.

Since the land will go from housing one type of inanimate object to housing another type of inanimate object, the city said OK.

The parking lot will have 127 spaces, with an entrance and an exit on South Indiana Avenue.  The Indiana Avenue side gets an OK ornamental metal fence.  But the alleys both get chain-link monuments to an elegy.

It remains to be seen what will become of the Rambler Building at 2246 South Indiana.  When this project was first announced, it was thought that the Rambler would be rehabbed into retail space.  Then it was going to be support offices for the data center.   By September of 2014 it was slated to become a parking garage with a tiny slice of retail.

The zeitgeist of today is that you can’t go wrong with data centers, especially with tech giants in Oceania expanding into middle America.  So, perhaps Big M is just warehousing the property until it can find exactly the right client.


Location: 2222 South Indiana Avenue, South Loop


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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  1. Datacenters don’t need that many workers these days (not that they ever did) where vendors ship in entire pre-configured racks that just need to be plugged in. This project never made all that much sense on what should be much more valuable land (see hotel next door). In suburbia or cornfieldia, land is much cheaper, power is often cheaper and getting fiber run just isn’t that big a deal these days.

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  2. I am worried about the Rambler Building. The roof has been steadily collapsing at the southeast corner. The brick walls looks solid, and the corner adds another form of support for the walls and remaining roof, but someone needs to start rehabbing, or at least protecting, this building before it gets torn down due to deferred maintenance. I always thought the parking garage use was a waste. Here’s hoping with all the new developments, a better use is found soon. Bowling alley anyone?

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